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Mikael Mandron and Joe Skarz on trial at Gillingham

ByMatthew Panting

Gillingham fielded two trialists in Saturday’s 4-0 friendly win at Folkestone.

Former Colchester frontman Mikael Mandron scored the final goal as he impressed in the last half-hour while ex-Bury and Rotherham left-back Joe Skarz played the first 45 minutes.

Gills boss Steve Evans revealed he tried to sign Mandron from Colchester when he was in charge of Peterborough 12 months ago.

Joe Skarz - one of two trialists Gills fielded at Folkestone on Saturday. Picture: Andy Jones
Joe Skarz - one of two trialists Gills fielded at Folkestone on Saturday. Picture: Andy Jones

The big forward is now a man in demand – with other League 1 outfits also showing an interest – while Gillingham’s decision could be influenced by the bid they currently have on the table for a higher-league striker.

“Big Mikael has done well but whether he is going to be ticking a box for us, given who we are trying to get in, we’ll see how the week unfolds,” said Evans.

“It depends on everything. I think Mikael has done really well. He is a presence, he is a handful.

“They said at Colchester that if he scored goals then he’d be playing in the Championship. He’s got all the other attributes.

“He had his first training session when he came in with us on Wednesday. He’s another one that’s been lacking that intensity.

“We tried to buy him at Peterborough United last summer and we couldn’t get him in the door. We’re just looking at him, he’s got options in League 1 that he can go and take now.

“He’s given me his word that he’ll be here until the middle of the week and probably by then we’ll know where we are with different things, and then we’ll make a decision – positive or negative.”

Mandron will get another chance to impress in Tuesday’s game at Dartford.

“We’ll mix it around a little bit again,” added Evans. “We know Mikael very well so we’ve got an idea what he can do in games.

“We’ll see how he does in training on Monday, he’ll play a part on Tuesday and then we’ll see how he does on Wednesday. Then we’ll be in a position where we either talk to him or let him go and take one of the offers he’s got.”

Skarz was part of the Rotherham squad that enjoyed success under Evans but his lack of fitness showed at Folkestone.

“Joe played for us when we were very successful at Rotherham, he was fantastic,” said Evans, about a player who spent time on loan at National League Halifax last season.

“You can see he has been away from League 1 football for a while.

“I don’t think Joe was at his best but in fairness to that kid, he had one training session yesterday.

“We deliberately put him into the first half team. I perhaps don’t think Joe has done enough but I’ll talk to him and talk to the staff first.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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